MRO Magazine

Go online to solve electrical motor problems


January 25, 2010
By PEM Magazine

If you want answers to a variety of electrical motor questions, you should once again check out Tampa, FL-based PdMA Corporation’s website ( PdMA Corporation is an industry leader in the field of predictive maintenance (PdM) and condition monitoring, globally offering electric motor testing instruments. Products and services are used by a wide variety of industries, such as: manufacturing, utilities, field servicing, aerospace, petrochemical, pulp and paper, steel service, mining, automotive, etc.

PdMA designs and manufactures the following portable motor testers:
• MCE-static (offline) tester;
• EMAX-dynamic (online) tester; and
• MCEMAX-combination (offline/online) tester.

All testers are designed to monitor and trend the condition of AC induction, synchronous, wound rotor, and DC motors and their circuits. Among the testing capabilities are: power quality, power circuit, stator, rotor, insulation, and air gap.

By visiting the web site, you can sign up to receive an informative company e-newsletter that offers electrical motor tips. Often maintenance practitioners provide their own answers and solutions to electrical motor problems.


Here’s a good example:
The motor failed. You had a predictive maintenance program on the motor, yet it failed. Take the opportunity to conduct a focused "single-point failure" analysis to determine the root cause of the failure using the following guidelines:

Identify your subject matter experts—techs, OEMs, operators, etc. Get at least three to four people that are most qualified to participate, and bring them together to collect the following:

• Identify the actual function of the motor—what does the owner/user expect it to do? Be specific;
• Identify the way or ways it can fail to deliver expectations (a spreadsheet or white board works fine);
• Identify the present maintenance tasks that are in place for this motor; and
• Identify tasks, such as condition-based monitoring, scheduled restoration, scheduled discard, which could reduce the risk of a repeated failure.

For more information, contact the PdMA Corporation at tel: (800) 476-6463; or email:

The motor doctor is in the house
If you have any electrical motor questions or problems, then you might also want to contact the "motor doctor." We’re talking about Dr. Howard Penrose, CMRP, who now works for Glen Ellyn, IL-based Dreisilker Electric Motors, Inc. For many years, Dr. Penrose was associated with SUCCESS by DESIGN.

Dr. Penrose presently the executive director of the Institute of Electrical Motor Diagnostics, Inc., serves on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. DEIS board of directors, and more. He’s the author of a number of books and studies, including the “Skilled Workforce in the 21st Century,” “Physical Asset Management for the Executive,” and “Electrical Motor Diagnostics: 2nd Edition.”

Dr Penrose’s specialities comprise motor diagnostics (testing), including electrical signature analysis, motor current signature analysis, and motor circuit analysis; electrical reliability and maintenance program support; motor management program development; overall maintenance best practice development; and energy program development.